5 Quarantine-free European Winter Sun destinations


Winter sunshine

*AD This post has been written in Collaboration with Jet2.com

After the year we have had I think many of us could do with some winter sunshine, of course health and safety is key and as time goes on it's clear that for any European travel making sure you have had both of your vaccinations is essentials as it will make things considerably easier (depending on destination) although staying up to day with changing rules and regulations is equally important. While some destinations are still tricky to navigate and will require a quarantining process there are some that don't require much more than proof of vaccination and a recent covid test, meaning that some winter sunshine is back on the cards. 

Jet2.com have some fantastic quarantine free holidays to over 40 destinations and have 10 airport hubs in the UK meaning there should be an airport local to you, mine is Bristol. Jet2.com are also a Which? Recommended Provider and all their holidays are ATOL and ABTA protected.  

While the rules and regulations are changeable these European destinations are the "safest" options at the moment for a quarantine-free break with direct flights this winter and with no Foreign Office warnings meaning that travel insurance is also cheaper and easier to obtain. 


1. Madeira

Known are as the islands of eternal Spring, Madeira has a mild subtropical climate throughout the year and makes for a perfect winter sunshine break as it's only just over 3.5hr flight to get there. There is plenty to see and do and something for everyone from hiking to boat excursions to sitting back and reading a book at the beach. 

Current restrictions - You do not need to quarantine or take a test on arrival if you have had both doses of the vaccine 14 days prior to travel or you have recovered from Covid in the past 180 days (you will require a certificate to prove it) or take a Covid PRC test 72hrs before arrival. This excludes children aged 11 and under

2. Malta

Did you know that Malta and Gozo have around 300 days of sunshine a year and while it may not be the hottest destination in the middle of winter it is still very mild in comparison to the UK with most days reaching around 16 degrees and with the beaches and popular spots being uncrowded means this is a great spot to relax and enjoy the sunshine as well take in some history and culture. In fact Malta is steeped in history and no trip to the Islands would be complete without a visit to the Hypogeum megalithic temples which are a Unesco World heritage.

Current restrictions - You need proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to arrival. If you have not been fully vaccinated you will be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival regardless of a negative PRC test. Children aged 5 to 11 can travel if they are accompanying their vaccinated parents/legal guardian and just show evidence of a negative PCR test 72hrs before arrival. 


3.  Alicante, Mainland Spain 

Even during the winter months you can expect around 6hrs of daily sunshine in Alicante, it also means less crowded beaches, restaurants and quieter sightseeing while still being able to wear a t-shirt. The off-peak season is also a great time for finding cheaper accommodation and holiday packages. 

Current restrictions - You must provide proof of either Full Vaccination or a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of arrival. Under 12yr old are excluded from this and do no require to do a PCR test. 

4. Tenerife, Canary Islands

Even in the middle of winter Tenerife still has temperatures over 20 degrees and offers year round sunshine (which is what we want right!) along with gorgeous beaches and an easy to explore island means this is a great choice. There are plenty of direct flights to Tenerife and take around 4,5hrs.

Current restrictions - You must provide proof of either Full Vaccination or a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of arrival. Under 12yr old are excluded from this and do no require to do a PCR test. 

5. Algarve, Portugal

Unlike summer the Algarve is lovely and quite in the cooler months while still offering plenty of hours of sunshine and mild weather which is perfect for hikes along the coast and taking a stroll through the charming old villages. The colder months are also the best time to get good deals on flights and accommodation. 

Current restrictions -  You must provide proof of either Full Vaccination or a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of arrival.

As I said before it's very important to keep up to date with travel rules and regulations as they can change very quickly. Jet2.com have a very useful page on their website which clearly states what you need to do before, during and after your travels. 

European winter breaks
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Hiking up the Blorenge in my Regatta Edgepoint boots (Review)



Regatta boots

* I was kindly sent a pair of Regatta Ladies Edgepoint boots - this is an unpaid review and 100% my own words & thoughts

Autumn is truly upon us and it's a great time to get outdoors, enjoy nature and walks before the colder winter weather sets in. Saying that it's really important to start wearing warmer clothing such as hats, scarfs and protecting yourself from adverse weather, especially wet weather, which is why I am very excited about my new Regatta waterproof and breathable boots, plus they are super light so you can bet I'm going to get a lot of use out of them this season. 

I've been meaning to take the boys up The Blorenge in the Brecon Beacons for a while as we are slowly ticking off trig points in the area and we had done a few other summits so this was next on the list and it's a great walk for younger kids and dogs (although please be a responsible dog owner), it's always a great place to test out my new boots.


There are few different ways to walk to the trig point summit of the Blorenge, we love to visit Keepers Pond where we have done wild swimming but on this occasion, as it was getting later in the day we headed up from The Fox hunters car park as the route is really direct but also takes in some different terrain and the views are incredible. 

As I said there are a few different routes including a nice circular one which takes around 2hrs, you can also head straight to the trig point from the car park which takes around 35-40mins (it can be done quicker depending on the age of your children). There are usually sheep or wild horses grazing which is amazing but do keep this in mind if you have a dog with you. My boys loved running through the heather and climbing the rocks, there is a very cool cairn at the summit along with the trig point which looks out across the Brecon Beacons. You can see across Abergavenny to Sugarloaf Mountain and The Skirrid which are another two great family-friendly hills and summit walks as well as Pen Y Fan in the distance. 


We spent quite a while on the summit as we were in no rush to get back, in fact, we explored The Blorenge until the sun started to set so it gave me a few hours to really put my Regatta boots to the test. Throughout our hike, my feet were comfortable and dry, no rubbing and due to being breathable sweat wasn't an issue either and as I said they are really light so my legs didn't feel fatigued at all. I have also put these shoes to the test by walking through a few puddles as they have been treated with ISOTEX and Hydropel waterproofing and they really work. 

Regatta boots

What is really impressive about the Regatta Edgepoint boot is the price point - you get a lot of tech especially as they are currently on sale at £48.95 and will keep you adventure-ready throughout the year. The padded collar, tongue and moulded footbed means you stay comfortable all-day and the outsole has long-lasting slip resistance which is perfect for rugged terrain and on top of that they are also Vegan which is fantastic. 

Personally, I always prefer hiking shoes and boots over wellies, they are warmer and more supportive and better for different terrains and we often make sure our children have the right clothing for the outdoors but we also need to make sure we as parents do as well. Have you been on any hikes or walks lately?

Brecon Beacons

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Why you should consider working abroad


Art gallery

*This post contains affiliate links 

One of the best things I ever did was spend a couple of years working in different countries and cities, mainly across Europe, as it was a fantastic way to gain new skills, meet friends and be fully immersed in a culture and I always look back on my time working overseas in a very positive way and I hope my children are afforded the same opportunity when they are older. 

Many people often think you need to have a lot of money to travel and work but if you are clever about it you really don't. The best thing is to sort out a job before leaving, depending on the employer they may help you find accommodation as well. You can also work and travel at any point in your life, whether you have just left school and want to consider seasonal work or working in hospitality, which is what I did, or maybe you are a graduate looking to build your experience with an internship, or maybe you are very experienced in your field and want a change of scenery - at any stage, there are opportunities out there.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider working abroad

1. You get to travel more - whether your taking up a well-paid role or simply volunteering in exchange for accommodation when you consider working abroad it opens up the world to you, along with plenty of new experiences. If you're looking to work in a backpackers or as a volunteer for a few weeks before moving on to somewhere else then I recommend checking out Workaway and Worldpackers.

2. Boost Confidence and Adaptability - working somewhere completely new is going to be a bit of a shock to the system at first which is normal for anyone stepping out of their comfort zone but the experience without a doubt with help boost your inner confidence as well as teach you how to adapt to different routines - both of which are skills employers look for. 

learning a language

3. Learn a second language - if your looking to take up a new job in Europe chances are it will be to a country with a language different to yours which makes it the perfect opportunity to learn a new language and gain a new skill. Not only is this good on a personal level but will help you stand out from the crowd in the future. 

4. Boost your CV - travel not only helps to open your eyes to new perspectives but it's also often seen as a positive to future employers who want to take on dynamic new talent. Even if you don't want to commit to a long term overseas role you could benefit from doing something like an internships in Barcelona in your chosen industry which offers you hands-on experience for a shorter time while improving your resume greatly. 

5. Expand your network - working abroad naturally widens your pool of friends as well as professional connections and this can be seen as a real positive on your resume. I am still in contact with some of the friends I made when I was travelling over 10yrs ago which is great, we can bounce ideas off each other as well as hear different perspectives on things.

Of course there are lots of logistics you need to consider when moving to a new country or city and here is a post full of tips if you decide to go for it. One of the first things to ease stress is making sure you organise transporting your luggage to your new home. No matter where you move too there are services that can help you to settle in such as a move to the US you can use your local Fort Worth Moving Company. No matter the circumstances or the destination, our job is to get your belongings from Point A to Point B. Whether we’re traveling through the state or going right down the street, we are up for the job! Take a breath, relax, we got it!

When it comes to considering a move whether for a few weeks, months or years, you want to do as much research as possible before you move, this will make it a lot easier in the long term. Of course with the pandemic extra precautions and planning needs to take place but it's not impossible and if it's something of interest to you then I say go for it, I loved every moment of working and travelling overseas when I was younger. 

working abroad

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Stonehenge Stone Circle Experience



Did you know you can actually go right into the circle of Stonehenge? No many people know that The English Heritage now offer special Stone Circle Experience tours, which run either before or after normal opening hours, which allow you to step over the barriers and get right up close to the stones.

My boys and I love visiting historical places and are slowly ticking off neolithic and megalithic sites across the UK and have been wanting to visit Stonehenge for a long time but with it being over 2hrs drive and normal admission does not allow you to walk up close to the stones, the nearest you can get is around 10 yards with the monument being roped off, it just made sense to pay extra for what was an incredible experience we will never forget. 

To give you an idea of the difference in price, normal admission is £21.50 for an adult and the VIP Stone Circle tour is £47 for one full hour among the stones with a guide on hand to answer any questions. Yes it is a lot of money, especially for a family (although children are cheaper at £28.20 for the VIP tour) but it's something that is a one off experience you may never get to be able to do again and for us it was worth it. 

Stonehenge tour

As I mentioned before these tours run either before or after opening hours, we opted for an early evening time slot although we did make sure to eat beforehand as I didn't want any hangry moments during our tour. On arrival at the Stonehenge Centre you are taken to the group bus, masks were mandatory on the bus at our time of visiting, which drives you as close as possible to the stones, roughly a 5min journey from the centre. 

After disembarking from the bus the tour guide runs through some rules with the group with the main one being no touching of the stones, yes you can get as close as you want to them, inspect every nook and cranny but they are protected monuments so you can't touch. You can however take your shoes off when your in the circle, to get the full experience and as you can imagine, despite the rain, my eldest had his shoes iff straight away. 

Stonehenge Circle


As soon as you step over the rope barrier, which during normal opening hours you cannot cross, you start to take in the enormity of these stones and being right in the centre of them is truly incredible. The atmosphere is amazing and I have to say the English Heritage storyteller was excellent, extremely knowledgable, educational and you can dip in and out of his talk about the stones while you wander around them.

You have an hour within the stone circle and we made sure to soak up every minute and the kids loved it as much as I did, no complaints, or boredom, they were equally entranced by it all. The whole experience almost felt surreal and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this, plus the fee goes straight back into English Heritage to help conserve more historical sites like Stonehenge, many of which are free the enter.


*I have no affiliation with Stonehenge or English Heritage and paid for my tickets in full. 

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How to Plan a Trip for the Whole Family


Battersea Powerstation

Today I have an awesome guest blogger - Jennifer Bell, who is sharing her tips on how to plan an adventure trip for the whole family. Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey. Words by Jennifer, images by me 

Every trip, whether it’s a solo adventure or a group vacation, requires proper planning. It gets more intense for parents who need to plan a family trip where all family members can feel equally included in the itinerary. From children in daycare to grandparents in an assisted living community, everyone in the family wants to unwind and have fun.

It may not be easy, but there are common things that a family unit can enjoy together. In this guide, you will learn how to plan your next family trip:

Have A Travel Budget

Your finances will always determine how far you can go and how much you can enjoy. If you’re planning for a family vacation, the best step to take is to set aside funds for the trip intentionally so you have some wiggle room during the final planning process. Since you’re planning a family trip, opening a special family bank account geared towards saving money may be ideal. Also, be realistic about your savings to ensure that you don’t strain other essentials for your home. Additionally, be on the lookout for exclusive deals or packages which will lessen your financial stress. Here is a blog post about how to be a more budget-savvy traveller

Understand Everyone’s Interests

It may seem like a fun idea to plan a surprise trip, but it is challenging to anticipate everyone’s interests. Therefore, taking each and everyone’s interest at heart when planning a trip is crucial. If you have some destinations in mind, read through the itinerary as a family to get feedback about the places.

No place will check off everyone’s boxes about what they want for a vacation, but choosing one place as a family ensures everyone returns home happy and with lasting memories. It also prepares everyone on what to expect. Thankfully, if you feel clueless or confused about where to go, travel agents can advise you on the best times to travel, places to go, and what to expect.

kids kayaking

Have A Dedicated Kids Day

Like we previously explained, planning out the vacation as a family is essential, and your kids are used to following an already set-out plan. Therefore, if you dedicate a day to them, it will be a special treat and instil a sense of responsibility. For example, if you take them to the kids' park on a particular day, you can let an older child be in charge of the younger kids. A little freedom will make them bond together and be responsible for their own choices, thus determining how the trip eventually turns out.

Start Packing

Packing is often underestimated, but it is also one of the most crucial things in the whole process. If it is not well thought through, it can cause serious trouble to your trip. Also, it is another way of teaching your kids early responsibility for their belongings. Start having an earlier discussion on what is required for the place you’re travelling to and create a packing list to ensure that nothing essential is forgotten. Also, it helps you buy necessary gear if need be to make sure that you’re all set. Again, if you’re not sure about what gear to carry, ask your travel agent to help you out with that.

Don’t Gamble with Your Health and Safety

Have you ever thought of the places you went to as a teenager and got that shiver after you wondered how you could have gone there? As a parent, now you understand why your parents got mad at you when they discovered that you visited certain places. The destinations you visited back then were probably not prohibited but may not have met all the required safety measures.

Safety should always be a top priority when planning family trips, and it should never be overlooked. If something deep down in you feels wrong about the chosen destination, please change it. Also, it’s no longer a secret, especially in these pandemic times, that your health comes first. Ensure that you follow all the health safety measures and, if necessary, take travel insurance protection plans to help in case of any emergency.

Additionally, staying healthy includes the kind of meals that you indulge in during the trip. With kids around, junk foods will always be the fastest alternative but ensure that you balance these out with more healthy foods.

Just like life, no trip will ever be perfect since each destination is different. However, proper planning ensures that you don’t make mistakes and get to enjoy every bit of it. If you previously made a mistake when planning one, don’t get weary of trying again, this time, with all the knowledge we’ve discussed above. This, too, is a learning process, and it only gets easy if you try, and the memories made are priceless.

Neolithic Stones

*This post contains affiliate links
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Capturing the Moments that Matter


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outdoor childhood

*In collaboration with Snappy Snaps

It goes without saying that the last 18 months have been a big adjustment to all of us and lockdown in one way or another had an effect on all our lives. While many memories were made, unexpected moments of joy and kindness during a trying year, there were also milestones, events and gatherings that were missed. Weddings were cancelled, grandparents being able to hold their grandchildren for the first time, celebrating birthdays without friends, which was the case for my eldest who had a lockdown birthday. 

But that's the beauty of technology and digital photography today, we can quickly share memories with others at the touch of a finger and despite it all, I look back on so many photos I've taken over the past year with a lot of fondness and joy as they remind me of how resilient we all are, about the good times we have had despite everything and how important family is, near or far.

My love for photography goes way back, in fact, I did a degree in Photography so it's always held a special place in my heart as images are just amazing at bringing back so many memories. My two sons also took an interest in it over the past year and I've taught them how to use my SLR camera and it's great to see their view on nature and the world around us. 

Sunset hour

One of the things I plan to do this Christmas is make a photo book for my mum, who has always been my support system, a great grandmother and always on the end of the phone for a chat and advice. Before the pandemic my youngest would go to her once a week, they would bake, go to museums and on walks and I know she missed this a lot when the lockdowns prevented us from seeing her in person and as you get older you realise you cannot get that time back, but at least I documented a lot of it with photos and photo printing these days is quick & cost-efficient that getting my favourites printed out is really easy.

For so many of us, our photos only live on our phones or computers but creating something like a personalised photo book or having prints made, or big poster prints or canvas for the wall brings those memories to life and is a lovely way to share them. I usually get a photo book made once every few years just for myself as I love to see how much my boys have changed and grown and as I hope we never have to live through another lockdown there were lots of very special moments and for me, it's one of the most sentimental gifts you can give. 

outdoor childhood
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Road Trip Auto Skills - How To Change Wiper Blades


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road trip

*This post contains affiliate links 

There are a few essential car skills we should all know before heading out on a road trip. I have talked before about maintenance checks you must do before any long driving adventure but also have basic skills you should know just in case such as being able to check your oil and water, change a flat tyre and how to jumpstart your car should you get a flat battery. 

Another skill that could prove to be very useful and save you money is learning when it’s time to replace 2018 wiper blades, the process is surprisingly easy. 

Take on this DIY maintenance task in the comfort of your garage to keep your windshield clear as you drive.

Steps To Change Your Wiper Blades

Some maintenance projects are difficult to handle without the right tools and experience. Others, like replacing windshield wipers, can be accomplished in very little time. Typically, replacing windshield wipers doesn’t require any tools.

Start by making sure you purchase or order the right pair of windshield wipers for your car. Vehicles use many different lengths of wipers to match their windshield, and wipers have different endpoints to connect to wiper arms. Match these with your existing pair of wiper blades to ensure a secure fit.

Find out how to remove your wiper blades by carefully inspecting them. Some have small stoppers, while others have pins or clips. Remove the old wipers and replace the new ones, making sure to use the same length of parts.

Check to see that the components are secure before trying them out. Turn on your windshield washer fluid and wipers to test their movement and see that they remain secure. If they aren’t moving properly across your windshield, you may not have them installed correctly. There may also be an issue with the lower arm or motor of your wipers.

windscreen wiper

Why Are Wiper Blades Important?

If you have worn-out wiper blades, then you know how they can affect your vision and driving safety. Windshield wipers are essential for clearing your windshield and keeping your front sight lines clear.

Snow, rain or other weather issues can reduce your field of vision while you drive, but they can make it extremely difficult to see at all if you don’t have effective windshield wipers. Dust, mud, dirt and debris can also cake your windshield and limit your vision.

How To Keep Wiper Blades in Good Condition

Keep your Forester maintained with a new set of wiper blades in good condition. The best step you can take to keep your wipers in good condition is to replace them every six to 12 months. All windshield wipers wear out over time, causing the rubber to break down, streak against your windshield and fail to keep your vision clear.

You can also extend the lifetime of your wiper blades by avoiding excessive use. Frequently wash your windshield with a cloth or brush, rather than relying on your wipers to handle all the work. Similarly, brush off excessive snow and ice before turning on your windshield wipers.

Consider investing in a high-quality set of blades to improve their expected lifetime. Beam-style wipers typically last longer than conventional ones, and some brands promote longer lifetimes or longer warranties.

Where To Find Reliable Wiper Blades

Whether you’re looking to the future or need a new set of blades today, find great deals at a highly rated auto parts store near you. Match blades with your 2018 Subaru Forester to ensure the right fit and a long lifetime. Find windshield wipers near me to accomplish an essential maintenance task.

Staying on top of your car maintenance is so important as it can save you so much money, time and hassle as breaking down when your on a road trip is no fun and I know, it's happened to me more than once. 

road trip

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